nep-age New Economics Papers
on Economics of Ageing
Issue of 2012‒12‒15
nine papers chosen by
Claudia Villosio
LABORatorio R. Revelli

  1. Active vs. Passive Decisions and Crowdout in Retirement Savings Accounts: Evidence from Denmark By Raj Chetty; John N. Friedman; Soren Leth-Petersen; Torben Nielsen; Tore Olsen
  2. Is Information Overrated? Evidence from the Pension Domain By Henriette Prast; Federica Teppa; Anouk Smits
  3. Long-term care: need, use and expenditure in the EU-27 By Barbara Lipszyc; Etienne Sail; Ana Xavier
  4. Do older boards affects firm performance?: An empirical analysis based of Japanese firms By Nakano, Makoto; Nguyen, Pascal
  5. Longevity, pollution and growth By Natacha Raffin; Thomas Seegmuller
  6. France-Allemagne : histoire d’un chassé-croisé démographique By Gilles Pison
  7. L'Afrique, un continent jeune face au défi du vieillissement By Valérie Golaz; Laurent Nowik; Muriel Sajoux
  8. Population mondiale : les cartes interactives du site de l’Ined By Gilles Pison; Hélène Mathian; Christine Plumejeaud; Jérôme Gensel
  9. Is innovative firm behavior correlated with age and gender composition of the workforce? Evidence from a new type of data for German enterprises By Pfeifer, Christian; Wagner, Joachim

  1. By: Raj Chetty; John N. Friedman; Soren Leth-Petersen; Torben Nielsen; Tore Olsen
    Abstract: Do retirement savings policies – such as tax subsidies or employer-provided pension plans – increase total saving for retirement or simply induce shifting across accounts? We revisit this classic question using 45 million observations on savings for the population of Denmark. We find that a policy's impact on total savings depends critically on whether it changes savings rates by active or passive choice. Tax subsidies, which rely upon individuals to take an action to raise savings, have small impacts on total wealth. We estimate that each $1 of tax expenditure on subsidies increases total saving by 1 cent. In contrast, policies that raise savings automatically even if individuals take no action – such as employer-provided pensions or automatic contributions to retirement accounts – increase wealth accumulation substantially. Price subsidies only affect the behavior of active savers who respond to incentives, whereas automatic contributions increase savings of passive individuals who do not reoptimize. We estimate that 85% of individuals are passive savers. The 15% of active savers who respond to price subsidies do so primarily by shifting assets across accounts rather than reducing consumption. These individuals also oset changes in automatic contributions and have higher wealth-income ratios. We conclude that automatic contributions are more effective at increasing total retirement savings than price subsidies for three reasons: (1) subsidies induce relatively few individuals to respond, (2) they generate substantial crowdout conditional on response, and (3) they do not influence the savings behavior of passive individuals, who are least prepared for retirement.
    JEL: E21 H3
    Date: 2012–11
  2. By: Henriette Prast; Federica Teppa; Anouk Smits
    Abstract: This paper presents empirical evidence from the Netherlands indicating that the current policy based on information is unlikely to help people make the pension choices required in a system in which employees are the ultimate bearers of asset market risk. This holds even if information is made easier to understand, disseminated by the relevant media, and provided made to measure. The paper offers a behavioral explanation of the findings and concludes that policy makers, financial supervisors, and the pension industry should adopt alternative instruments for helping employees make good choices. These strategies may be useful in the context of recent proposals for a structural change of the pension system, including the increase in the eligibility age for the first layer pension (AOW).
    JEL: D1 D84 I3 H3
    Date: 2012–12
  3. By: Barbara Lipszyc; Etienne Sail; Ana Xavier
    Abstract: Public provision of long-term care (LTC) will pose an increasing challenge to the sustainability of public finances in the EU, due to an ageing population. In this view, the paper aims to provide indications on the timing and potential fiscal impact associated to changes in the demographic structure. The ageing of the population is expected to put pressure on governments to provide long-term care services as (very) old people often develop multi-morbidity conditions, which require not only long-term medical care but assistance with a number of daily tasks. This paper presents the projections of public expenditure on LTC in the long run (2060) under alternative assumptions. All scenarios project a non-negligible increase in public expenditure. All other things being equal, the expected increase in the demand for formal LTC support will vary across EU-27 Member States according to their current patterns of LTC provision: the balance between formal and informal care, the emphasis they put on institutional care, home care or provision of cash benefits, the supply constraints both in the formal and informal care sectors, the current average cost and coverage rate for each type of care and their distribution across age groups. The paper also discusses policy implications of the projection results.
    JEL: H51 I18 J14 J18
    Date: 2012–11
  4. By: Nakano, Makoto; Nguyen, Pascal
    Abstract: We analyze the role of board age on firm performance using a large sample of Japanese firms. The results reveal the existence of a significant negative relationship. After controlling for endogeneity using firm size as instrument, the effect of board age is found to be more significant, consistent with the notion that older directors are more likely to retain (relinquish) their positions in strongly (poorly) performing firms. In addition, we show that the performance of younger and high-growth firms is more sensitive to board age, which points to a risk-based explanation. Indeed, it appears that older boards are more reluctant to take risks and particularly to undertake acquisitions. Overall, the results underline the disadvantage of (re)appointing older managers since the latter tend to be more conservative, perhaps because of their shorter decision horizons or greater vested interests.
    Keywords: board of directors, top management, decision making, risk aversion, performance
    Date: 2012–11
  5. By: Natacha Raffin; Thomas Seegmuller
    Abstract: We analyze the interplay between longevity, pollution and growth. We develop an OLG model where longevity, pollution and growth are endogenous. The authorities may provide two types of public services, public health and environmental maintenance, that participate to increase agents’ life expectancy and to sustain growth in the long term. We show that global dynamics might be featured by a high growth rate equilibrium, associated with longer life expectancy and a environmental poverty trap. We examine changes in public policies: increasing public intervention on health or environmental maintenance display opposite effects on global dynamics, i.e. on the size of the trap and on the level of the stable balanced growth path. On the contrary, each type of public policy induces a negative leverage on the long run rate of growth.
    Keywords: Life expectancy; Pollution; Health; Growth
    JEL: I15 O44 Q56
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Gilles Pison
    Abstract: Il y a deux siècles, l'Allemagne comptait autour de 15 millions d'habitants contre le double en France. La population allemande a fortement augmenté au cours du siècle et demi suivant, doublant celle de la France, et atteignant 60 millions d'habitants en 1939 contre 41 millions en France. Les projections annoncent que la population de la France pourrait rattraper celle de l'Allemagne et la doubler à son tour d'ici moins d'un demi-siècle.
    Date: 2012–03
  7. By: Valérie Golaz; Laurent Nowik; Muriel Sajoux
    Abstract: L'Afrique n'échappera pas au vieillissement de sa population en raison de l'allongement de la durée de vie et de la baisse de la fécondité. S'appuyant sur des projections, Valérie Golaz, Laurent Nowik et Muriel Sajoux présentent les évolutions probables d'ici 2050 et expliquent les défis qu'elles posent pour un continent où les politiques sociales à destination des personnes âgées sont très peu développées.
    Date: 2012–08
  8. By: Gilles Pison; Hélène Mathian; Christine Plumejeaud; Jérôme Gensel
    Abstract: L'Institut national d'études démographiques offre un nouvel outil de cartes interactives de la populationaccessible en ligne gratuitement sur son site Internet. Il permet d'afficher les cartes de tous les pays de la planète pour une trentaine d'indicateurs démographiques avec la possibilité de suivre leur évolution dans le temps comme un film. Il est aussi possible de choisir un pays et de le comparer à ses voisins, de voyager d'un pays à l'autre en observant comment l'indicateur évolue, d'observer les variations géographiques d'un indicateur sans tenir compte des frontières nationales et enfin de se positionner sur un point de la carte et observer comment la population, ou toute autre quantité, se répartit autour de ce point.
    Date: 2012–01
  9. By: Pfeifer, Christian (Leuphana University Lueneburg and IZA); Wagner, Joachim (Leuphana University Lueneburg, CESIS)
    Abstract: This empirical research note documents the relationship between composition of a firm's workforce (with a special focus on age and gender) and its performance with respect to innovative activities (outlays and employment in research and development (R&D)) for a large representative sample of enterprises from manufacturing industries in Germany using unique newly available data. We find that firms with a higher share of older workers have significantly lower proportions of R&D outlays in total revenues and of R&D employment in total employment, whereas firms with a higher share of female employment seem to be more active in R&D.
    Keywords: Ageing; firm performance; gender; Germany; innovation; R&D
    JEL: D22 D24 J21 J24 L25
    Date: 2012–12–06

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